Here are some educational materials used in the IOC project in Nagano Winter Olympic Games 1998.
The 30 panels are prepared by 40 Japanese sports scientists and displayed at M-Wave, main Olympic stadium.
Four graduate students always stood by the panels and explained the scientific topics in Japanese.
This project was directed by Dr.Kazuhiko Watanabe at Hiroshima University and strongly supported by Prince Alexandre de Merode, Chairman of Medical Commission and Vice-President of IOC, at the time.
Unfortunately Prince Merode passed away in 2002. We would like to keep the educational material on the website as Prince Merode Memorial in Nagano.
Dr. Kazuhiko Watanabe,
the director of Sports Science Education Projectin IOC Medical Commission in Nagano Olympic Winter Games 1998
Sports science is progressing day by day.
This panel exhibition aims to see and understand the motion of the Olympic athletes from the scientific point of view. It also provides useful information for children to enjoy sports safely, make healthy and strong bodies. Please understand also that the Olympic athletes are supported by many people who do many kinds of activities.
Enjoy the Olympic Games with the newest knowledge of sports science.
Short track speed skating started in the UK with the idea that the ice hockey or figure skating rink may also be used for speed skating.
The first world competition was held in 1938. The first official Olympic competition was in the Albertville Olympic Games in 1990. It is a new event that Nagano is the third time to be performed officially.
When you walk,run,skate,and swim, the muscles of the human body work like car engines. The faster the car is running, the higher the horse power of the engine.
The same is true when a person exercises. Excellent athletes in the Olympic Games can produce very high muscle power.
The purpose of their practice is to obtain high skills and increase the muscle power production.
In the competitive sport it is no mistake that to win is very important. Desperate to win, or too eager to have someone to win, illegal methods may be employed. Doping is to exploit the knowledge of sports medicine and do the advantageous but unnatural and unfair things in the competition. In many cases, special medicine is used to increase the competitiveability more than the real one. For the athletes who are training seriously,this is nothing but "cheating".
"Clap, clap." Strange sound echoes in the skating rink. The sounds come from the slap skates when the iron blade hits the skating boot sole.
In 1996, just before Nagano Winter Olympic Games, top skaters in the world started to use the slap skates and made the world records one after another. So the slap skates were called "magic boots". Why were the skaters so successful with the magic boots, the slap skates? Here we try to find the secret.
You know Ms. Midori ITO who will ignite the sacred fire in the Nagano Olympic Games?
She became the world champion of figure skating in 1989 for the first time as Japanese.
She won a silver medal in the Albertville Olympic Games in 1992.
Ms. Ito Midori is also the first female skater in the world that successfully completed the difficult jump of the Triple Axel Paulsen jump.
A speed skater skillfully manipulates the skate blade 40cm long and 0.9mm thick on the ice polished like a mirror. With the speed of 60km per hour the skater aims at the victory.
Let's see here what technique is used to reach such high speed and how much load is applied to the skater's leg.
An athlete is fighting not only against the opponent but also against oneself as well. To win against oneself the athlete uses mental training and try to strengthen one's mind. At the Olympic Games in Barcelona (Spain) in 1992, most of the athletes who won a prize did this mental training. Here we show the mental training to win against oneself.
Speed skaters and short distance runners have big thighs.
To win in these events the athletes need to accelerate speed.
Acceleration correlates to force. The athlete's big thigh is to prodece large force in a short time. It contains a lot of muscles which produce a large force.
Here the inside of the athlete's muscle is observed and explained using MRI, magnetic resonance imagining method.♦ Speed Skater with big thighs
Before the game, players warm up themselves. As you know warming-up raises the body temperature, especially the muscle temperature. The movement the athletes do to warm up is called the preparatory exercise. Do you know why the preparatory exercise is useful?
The competition results of a bobsleigh are decided by the following 3 factors.
Among the factors the most important is the dash power of the athletes at the start.
Why does “Rocket Start ”decides the results? How can we examin the reason? Here we introduce a Japanese research of time analysis using the speed mesurement equipment.
Don't you think walking on the snowy road is annoying because the snow slips and the shoes get wet?
When you walk on the snowy road, you feel insecure because your ankle is unstable
and in some case you may fall down, or you may have sprain when your ankle or knee is twisted.
Walking on the snow makes you more tired than walking on a flat ground even in the same distance.
But since the ancient time, walking on the uneven and muddy ground was very common thing until just tens of years ago.
The environment these days in which people walk only on the pavement and excercise only on the flat ground is actually disadvantageous to our physical fitness.
Most of the ski jumpers fly in the V-style recently.
In 1992 at Albertville (France) Winter Olympic Games more than half ski jumpers kept their skis parallel after the take off.
However in 1994 Lillehammer (Norway) Olympics found all the ski jumpers competing in the V-style.
Why can the V-style fly further? How was the V-style proved to be better style?
Here is an introduction of the research conducted in Japan.
The story of Japanese ski jumpers getting the triple medals of gold, silver, and bronze in the normal hill at Sapporo Olympics (1972) is often told even today.
At the time of Sapporo Olympics, ski jumpers, Alpen skiers, and also skaters wore the sweaters and the pants.
Since then “the faster, the farther, and the safer wear”, has been developed and improved.
It is the muscles that move our body directly, but it is the brain to give orders so that the muscles move just as wanted.
To do skillful movement, the situation must be appropriately recognized, how to do must be judged in a moment, the movements are chosen momentarily, and the optimum exercise orders must be given to the muscles.
All this process is performed in the brain.
Wheelchair marathon is the race that the person without the function of their both legs runs 42.195 km by wheelchair.
The wheelchair runner surmounts the obstacle and goes through the hard training. It is one of the most severe races.
The athlete has a sturdy body.
However, we can find difference in the muscle between a marathon runner and a 100m sprinter.
This is because they usually do the different type of training.
The 100m splinter, besides the running, uses the weights to apply big load to the muscles for the training.
The ability to exercise for a long time, like cross-country skiing and marathon, is called endurance.
Even if the athlete has a very high muscle strength, a good strategy, and a mental strength, winning the race never occurs without endurance.
The endurance is also important for the long-distance races such as swimming, bicycling, and rowing the boat.
The endurence increases when we live on the highlands with thin air.
It is the reason why people from Ethiopia and Kenya, the highlands in Africa, keep winning at track-and-field long distance.
Many students from these countries come to Japan to study and are running excellently in the marathon race.
Japanese Nordic combined golden age skiers, Ogiwara, Abe, Kawano, Mikata, Kodama, and also marathon winners, Arimori and Asari, all went out to the foreign highlands and carried out high-altitude training with careful planning to make excellent results.
It is said that the physical activity of the primary and secondary students is decreasing recently.
It is because of decreasing time to play involving physical activity.
In addition, the decrease is related to a change of the play style both in the open air and in the room, busy life style and insufficient play ground.
The need of the play for the child is discussed here.
Investigation of daily walking steps with a pedometer was performed on the 5th grade primary school students and the 2nd and 3rd grade junior high school students in Nagano-city.
The results are shown in the table.
Another report says the avarage steps per day is 27000 in the preschool and the primary school children.
Skiing on a steep downhill is called Alpine skiing.
Five kinds of comptition in the Alpine skiing are slalom, giant slalom, super giant slalom, downhill, and Alpine combined in which both slalom and downhill records are estimated.
In the downhill competition the maximum speed reaches more than 130 km/h. The skier may be gone away while you blink your eyes.
Aerobics is excercise to take oxygen into our body and burn energy.
Oxygen is carried to the lung, heart, blood vessel, and then active muscles.
Fig1 Aerobics and our body
Nordic skiing developed in Northern Europe, mainly in Norway.
Crosscountry skiing runs a long distance and ski jump flys in the air from the jumping slope. There is also Nordic Combined in which crosscountry time and ski jump distance are scored.
Two speed skaters run at a time around the 400 meter ice track counter-clockwise,
like the track and fields competition.
Whether the skater runs incourse or outcourse at the start is decided by lot. Since the incourse is shorter than the outcourse, the two skaters must exchange their courses at the back straight, the other side of the finish line, so that the total distance they run is equal.
You may have experience of sticking your face out of the car window.
The faster the car is running, the stronger wind pressure you feel. Inside the car, you feel no wind but the car itself is running against the wind pressure.
Imagine how much wind pressure a ski jumper gets when running down the slope at the speed of 90 kilometers per an hour. To increase the velocity the skier has to fight against the wind pressure.
“F1 race on the ice” is another name of bobsleigh in which the maximum speed reaches 140 km/h.
On the artificial ice course of 1200 meters long, the iron sleigh with a handle and a brake slides down and competes the time.
There are the two seater sleigh and the four seater sleigh. Each team tries 4 times during two days and the time sum of the four trials decide the winner and the position. The heavier sleigh has the greater accerelation and advantage to the lighter one. So the total weight including the sleigh is limited to 390 kilograms for the two seater and 630 kilograms for the four seater.
Amputation is a medical operation when cutting off the arm or leg is unavoidable.
The patients suffering from bone cancer, blood flow trouble, traffic accident, industrial accident, or war may get the operation. The handicap remains throuout the life.
However the rehabilitation makes it possible to work and even to enjoy many kinds of sports.
The word “junior” means younger.
The junior athlete is someone who is not yet an adult.
Here we talk about sports in primary and junior high school days when the body grows and skills develop much.
Healthy life comes from proper nutrition. Epecially growing teen agers need more nutrition than adults.
Athletes need even more.
Athletes must think of the quality and the quantity of nutriment and the timing to take in.
Introduced here are the necessary nutriment for sports man to provide energy source, increase muscles, as well as necessary water supply during excercise.
Best wishes to boys and girls in Sydney
In this Ski jump movie, Dr. Watanabe talks about the jumping site at Hakuba and how the scientific data is obtained and used for the jumpers to fly further.
What is crosscountry skiing? Dr.Takeda at Doshisha University talks about it.
Dr. Kawahatsu at Hokkaido University introduces experimental measurement of the crosscountry skier.
Dr. Asano at Tsukuba University shows the high altitude training.
Dr. Miura at Joetsu Education University tells about the posture and the body balabce during Alpine skiing.
Dr. Yuki was a speed skater. He did excellent researches at University of Tsukuba. He worked together with Hiroyasu SHIMIZU, the gold medalist in 500 meters at Nagano Olypic Winter Games.
Dr. Suzuki was a bobsleigh rider and works for the Olympic Games as a bobsleigh judge. He talks about the importance of minimizing the start time in both bobsleigh and luge.
Dr. Ikegami compares the motion of snowboarders with skiers. He shows some experimental results and tells about the deferences.
IOC Medical Commission conducted 7 biomecanics researches. This video introduces how the researchers worked at each location during Nagano Olympic Winter Games.
The sport science panels were also shown in some elementary and junior high schools in Nagano City. In the P.E. classes, students read the panels, saw the pictures, and asked their questions to the graduate students and also the professors.